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    Who needs a Fire Alarm System?

    The simple answer to this question is the vast majority of commercial premises and buildings of multiple occupancy. In 2006 The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 came into force.

Fire Alarms

Who needs a Fire Alarm System?

The simple answer to this question is the vast majority of commercial premises and buildings of multiple occupancy, like blocks of flats, for example. In 2006 The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 came into force:
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The legislation requires all non-domestic properties to carry out a fire risk assessment and to implement and maintain a fire management plan. For almost all properties this will include the provision and maintenance of a fire alarm system. We supply and fit fire alarm systems in Bath, Devizes, Chippenham, Trowbridge, Swindon, Salisbury, Wiltshire, and South and Central England.

Levels of Cover

Fire alarm systems are designed with one of two considerations at their core. Category L systems are designed for the protection of life, these are normally specified as the result of a fire risk assessment. Insurance companies may also have requirements for fire alarm systems, these are classed as Category P and are concerned with the protection of the property itself. These systems are usually monitored to ensure that an out-of-hours alarm is responded to efficiently.

Once this consideration has been taken care of, the level of cover to be provided must be determined. Below is an extract from the British Standard to help explain what these levels are and their individual requirements. Hopefully this will help with understanding what is required as well as enabling quotations to be checked for compliance.

Permission to reproduce extracts from BS:5266:Part 1:2016 ‘Fire detection and fire alarms for buildings’ is granted by BSI. British Standards can be obtained in PDF or hard copy formats from the BSI online shop: www.bsigroup.com/Shop or by contacting BSI Customer Services for hardcopies only: Tel: +44 (0)20 8996 9001, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

British Standard 8.2

c) In Category L3 and L4 systems, smoke detectors, or a mixture of smoke and combustion gas detectors, should be provided in the following: All escape stairways; All corridors; Any other areas that form part of the common escape routes.

d) In Category L3 systems, heat, smoke, combustion gas or multi-sensor detectors should be installed in all rooms that open onto the escape routes described in c), except that rooms opening onto corridors of less than four metres in length need not be protected, provided fire resisting construction, including doors seperate these corridors from any other section of the escape routes.

e) In a Category L2 system, the rooms or areas protected should comply with the recommendations in c) and d) for a Category L3 system, but, in addition, automatic fire detectors should be installed in rooms in which the fire risk is high enough to warrant individual protection.

f) In a Category L1 or P1 system, automatic fire detectors should be installed in all rooms and areas of the building, but the following rooms may not be protected if they are low fire risk: Toilets, shower rooms and bathrooms; stairway and toilet lobbies; small cupboards (typically, less than 1m²); some shallow voids (less than 800mm in depth)

What Type of System?

The type of system that is installed is more complicated to determine and we are available to discuss this and give you our advice and recommendations. The main considerations that need to be made when deciding are entirely property specific. If you have a small industrial unit then a conventional system may be perfectly adequate, a nursing home that has loft voids and risers may decide on a wired analogue addressable systems, whereas a hotel that wishes to operate normally during installation may look at the wireless systems. Each type of system is explained for you on this site, which will hopefully give you a better idea of what your company's requirements may be and how best to proceed.

Wireless Fire Alarms

Wireless fire alarm systems are exactly as described, everything is wireless except the console...
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Specialist Equipment

This section covers aspirating or air sampling detectors which are high sensitivity smoke detectors...
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Analogue Addressable

Analogue addressable systems are now widely used, even for small and medium sized premises...
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Conventional/2 Wire

Conventional fire alarm systems are cost effective and perfect for small premises...
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